Response rate

Table 1 below shows that the overall institutional response rate was 69% of institutions. Responses were higher from universities and lower for CEGEPs.

Table 1: Response rate by type of institution

Full questionnaire Short questionnaire Total response
Resp. Pop. % Resp. Resp. Pop %
Universities 49 72 68 7 56 72 77
Colleges except Quebec 54 81 67 1 55 81 68
CEGEPs (Québec) 25 50 50 4 29 50 58
Total 128 203 63 12 140 203 69

Resp. = responding institutions; Pop. = all institutions in population base

The response rate tended to be lower from the smaller institutions (see Table 2).

Table 2: Response rate by size range of colleges (including CEGEPs)

Total response
Resp. Pop. %
<2,000 27 46 59
2,000-9,999 42 66 64
10,000+ 15 19 79
Total 84 131 64

It can be seen that 15 out of the 19 colleges with more than 10,000 students responded (79%), compared to 59% for those colleges with fewer than 2000 students.

A similar pattern was observed for the universities. For the 29 universities with fewer than 7,500 students, the response rate was 62%, but 86% for the 43 with more than 7,500 students.  Nevertheless, the response rate for all size ranges of institution was 50% or more, including for small colleges and CEGEPs.

Since there was a higher response from the larger institutions, the survey responders represent institutions with 78% of the student population base, as can be seen from Table 3.

Table 3: Student headcounts for institutions responding compared to overall student headcounts.

Survey responders Student population
Questionnaire Full Short Total No. %
Universities 916,544 104,978 1,021,522 1,239,801 82%
Colleges 372,565 167 372,732 512,785 73%
CEGEPs 80,063 12,518 92,581 162,762 57%
Total 1,369,172 117,663 1,486,835 1,915,348 78%

Also there is a broad spread of institutional representation in the survey for almost all the provinces and territories (Table 4):

Table 4: Response rate by province

Universities Colleges/CEGEPs Total
Questionnaire Full Short All Full Short All Resp. All
Alberta 6 0 6 10 14 16 20
British Columbia 9 1 11 9 15 19 26
Manitoba 3 0 4 3 4 6 8
N. Brunswick 2 0 4 1 4 3 8
Newfoundland 1 0 1 1 1 2 2
NW Territories 1 2 1 2
Nova Scotia 5 8 1 1 6 9
Nunavut 1 0 1
Ontario 15 3 20 21 26 39 46
PEI 1 1 1 2 2 3
Quebec 7 3 15 25 4 50 39 65
Saskatchewan 1 2 5 10 6 12
Yukon 1 1 1 1
Total 49 7 72 79 5 131 140 203

Responses from Quebec as a whole were slightly lower than average (60% for all Quebec institutions) compared with that for the universities and colleges outside Québec (72%). The response to the national survey may have been influenced by a similar request for extensive enrolment data at the same time by the Québec Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

Overall, especially considering that this was a voluntary survey, the responses provide an excellent, representative sample of colleges and universities across all provinces, and across all sizes of institution, representing 69% of all institutions and 78% of all students studying for institutional credit at Canadian public post-secondary institutions.